What are the highest-earning one-hit-wonders?

Many music fans have a thing about one-hit-wonders, artists who burn bright for exactly one song than then fall into obscurity. More often than not, they continue to release music, but no one cares. But if that one hit is big enough, that could sustain its author for the rest of their life.

Another survey (which is really an ad for a British site called Broadbandchoices.co.uk) dove into Spotify data to determine the highest-earning one-hit-wonders on the platform.

Biggest One-Hit Wonders by broadbandchoices

But what about time before Spotify? They’ve calculated that, too. This is how much these artists could have earned each year since they had their big hit.

Here’s a playlist so they can earn a few more pennies.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “What are the highest-earning one-hit-wonders?

  • May 11, 2021 at 10:48 am
    Permalink

    Drives me mad that so many of these bands are considered one-hit wonders when really it’s just that the Americans didn’t get it. As an example, Soft Cell had 5 top 10 singles and 4 top 20 albums in the UK. Hardly a one-hit-wonder.

    Reply
  • May 12, 2021 at 11:02 pm
    Permalink

    My neighbor John Ellison wrote She’s some kinda wonderful. Although it never reached number one it has been rerecorded by over 50 artists. It has indeed given him a comfortable income for over 50 years.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.